AC Milan are expected to announce the appointment of Sinisa Mihajlovic in the coming days, and the Serbian coach could be reunited with a player he knows well.
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The former Sampdoria coach has described his latest opportunity as a “stimulating adventure”, as reported by Football Italia, and he will be tasked with restoring the club to its former glories.
Both Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi have tried and ultimately failed before him, but owner Silvio Berlusconi and CEO Adriano Galliani have seemingly learned from their mistakes and have gone with a coach that at least has some experience at the top level.
Mihajlovic’s work at Sampdoria was arguably his best yet, following stints at Fiorentina and Catania, but whether or not he has the coaching ability and ceiling to take Milan back to the top of Italian football remains to be seen.
What is certain is that the 46-year-old will bring discipline and commitment to the job, which in turn should filter down through the squad and ensure that their struggles won’t be down to a lack of effort.
However, that approach threatens to transform the Rossoneri into a solid but far from extravagant outfit, and that in turn calls for a marquee signing that can make the difference for the team.
That search has essentially started and potentially ended with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, an idea that was initially born as part of the plan to bring Carlo Ancelotti back to the club, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The 33-year-old has been successful at every club he has joined, and he enjoyed some of the best moments of his career in a Milan shirt during his first spell between 2010 and 2012.
Ibrahimovic scored 56 goals in 85 appearances in all competitions for the club, but it was his overall influence on their style of play and his ability to produce a moment of magic that made him so important.
While there is an argument to suggest that the Rossoneri became one-dimensional because of their over-reliance on him, given that it proved to be so successful it was a strategy that they were willing to adopt.
Whether or not the Swedish international leaves PSG this summer remains to be seen, but making him the focal point of the Milan attack once again would produce immediate dividends for Mihajlovic.
Milan are blessed with numerous wingers in their current squad, with Alessio Cerci, Stephan El Shaarawy, Keisuke Honda and Jeremy Menez all deployed in various positions across an attacking trident.
With Ibrahimovic based in a central position, it is easy to see them flourishing due to his mere presence and creativity while in turn it would give the Swede an opportunity to return to a league and culture he knows well and excelled in.
Ibrahimovic will need to be convinced that a move back to Milan will result in success on the pitch and not more mid-table mediocrity. If the club can bring him back and build around him, it may well give them the platform they need to get back into the top three in Serie A.